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Transcendant Attunement Technique
Cost: N/A Type: Permanent Duration: Permanent Min. Craft: 3 Min. Essence: 2 Prereqs: None
With an intimate understanding of objects, and the essence flows through them, the Solar can devote less of his energies to attuning artifacts, and instead devote more towards other, loftier goals. Originally developed by artifact-enthusiasts, it went on to see great use in the Realm's defense network, allowing it's operators to provide the sheer volume of Essence needed to fuel the mammoth machines without human sacrifce. When purchased, the character creates a new Essence pool, with a number of motes equal to his (Craft+Essence-1). These motes are considered personal, and may only be used to attune artifacts, or pay for their activation fee. The pool is refilled after the peripheral and personal pools are normally filled. This charm may be purchased a number of times equal to the Solar's Essence-1. As the character's Craft and Essence scores increase, so does the size of the pool.
Creator's Inherent Advantage
Cost: 2m + 1m/die Type: Supplemental Duration: Instant Min. Craft: 4 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Transcendant Attunement Technique
The great sages of the first age had many theories as to how Essence is channeled to improve the skills of an Exalted. Some claim that the Essence bends fate, while others claim that through simple repetition, the Exalt's internal being would learn the proper way for an action to happen, and the channeling of Essence is just like a muscle activating to ensure a certain motion happens. Whatever their theories, the invention of this charm caused yet another uproar, as with it, and Exalt need not actually have skill in an area to augment his actions. Instead, simply by having intimate familiarity with the tools used, the character can augment an action with Essence, just as his skilled companions might. When this charm is activated, the character may buy additional dice for any action in which he is employing an object that he constructed, and said object would be directly useful. For example, a character wielding a self-made Daiklave in combat could gain dice on an attack or parry, but said character, stripped of his Daiklave, could not claim that because he is wearing self-made shoes in combat that he should similarly receive bonuses on attack rolls. That is, unless he's attempting to kick his opponent. This charm is explicitly allowed to be in comboes with charms of other abilities.
Benevolent Supervisor's Assistance
Cost: 6m Type: Simple Duration: One Day Min. Craft: 4 Min. Essence: 2 Prereqs: Flawless Handiwork Method
Having learned the arts of crafting, the Solar can discern quality work, and improve upon work of lesser quality. This technique is especially useful in large-scale construction projects, where dozens or hundreds of often under-skilled workers are called upon to enact the Solar's larger plans, as the Solar travels the construction site, noting and fixing any errors he sees. By mastering this charm, the Solar has managed to perfect this activity to some great extent, and obliviate the need for much of these fixes. By milling among his workers and checking their work, the Solar can not only spot and correct errors in construction, but errors in technique. By augmenting these lessons with Essence, the Solar can ensure that no worker will make the same mistake again, helping to ensure that the remainder of the project goes by much more smoothly. In practice, this charm can be activated any time the Solar is supervising the crafting work of those who have a Craft skill equal to or less than his own. In such a situation, the craft roll used to determine the success of the day's work cannot botch, and in addition, receives a number of automatic successes equal to the Solar's Essence.
Effortlessly Trivial Implementation
Cost: 2m+Varies Type: Simple Duration: Indefinite Min. Craft: 5 Min. Essence: 2 Prereqs: Flawless Handiwork Method
Secure in his crafting abilities, and in his use of them, the Solar can now take shortcuts that mortal craftsman would avoid, due to their certainty of failure. He need not test the strength of the joists, nor re-measure the angle of the blade he is grinding, for he simply knows that they are correct. These short cuts allow him to speed up the rate of construction for any project he is working directly on by a factor of (Essence). More directly, for any crafting roll in which he is the primary worker (such as Artifact construction, or the building of a small house), reduce the time between crafting rolls (or simply the total construction time, if only a single roll is required) by a factor of (Essence). In addition, the added quality of these perfectly machined edges and flawlessly arranged pieces reduces the difficulty of the project by 1 as well. Activating this charm costs 2m, plus a number of motes equal to the current difficulty of the project being constructed.
Meticulously Planned Improvisation
Cost: 6m Type: Simple Duration: Instant Min. Craft: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Effortlessly Trivial Implementation
The greatest of craftsman are not merely skilled. These craftsman have internalized their skill to the point that calling on it is as natural as breathing, and as effortless as raising one's arm. As one does not think of which muscles to activate, and which joints must bend, so the great craftsman may operate without thought or concern to their doings. They simply implement, knowing that their actions will be correct, and their goal realized. This charm, activated during any 'planning' phase of creation (including non-Craft types of creation, such as songwriting) allows the character to accomplish in an instant what would take others much longer to do. When activated, the character rolls (Int+Craft), and for every success acheived on the roll, the character is considered to have spent one day in the planning phase of the project.
Wellspring of Future Knowledge
Cost: 4m, 1WP Type: Simple Duration: One hour Min. Craft: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Flawless Handiwork Method, Meticulously Planned Improvisation
"Artificers". This slang term for the Twilight Caste, while true in some situations, is also considered derogatory by many. While the Dawn Caste would have an army of these "Artificers" cranking out ever more powerful weapons and armor for their behemoth-slaying adventures, there are those among the Twilight Caste who see that it is not the Exalts who truly need the greatest creations. No, it is the poor and common mortal, forced to live an existence without the advantage of Essence-channeling. These compassionate craftsmen, rather than focusing their training entirely on artifice, have also learned to use Essence to the benefit of mortals by creating mundane creations of ever-increasing complexity. Such creations are considered mundane in every way, and may be copied, redesigned, and rebuilt as any other creation would, without the use of Essence. This allows the creation of such wonders as improved water wheels, that function even when the river runs low, new materials that resist rust and wear, and even the means to channel electricity through metallic wires to generate light. While the techniques used to construct such devices were lost with the great contagion, the resurgence of Solar ability should allow a new era of mortal comfort, ability, and creation. This charm, when activated, grants the Exalt a flash of insight into what could be. With visions of new applications of old devices, and new devices for old applications, the Solar is flooded with plans and methods for improving the current state of affairs. As these visions fade, the character has but an hour to transcribe the most relevant of his visions to paper, or to dictate them to others, before the insight leaves his mind. Still, each use of this charm generally produces one significant technological advance, one that would normally take a mortal generation to naturally transpire. This charm can only be activated once every 21 days, when the Sun is in the house of Venus. Note that as this charm only gives glimpses of what might be possible with the current technology available to the Solar, successive uses of this charm while trying towards a too-lofty goal can be futile, unless the Solar takes the time to implement the previous visions. As an example, a second-age Solar looking to eventually design a faster-than-light flying vessel might first receive visions involving a new form of extremely light steel, a refined form of petroleum, and a means to generate electricity using lodestone. If he takes no steps to acquire facilities to generate such products, a later use of this charm towards the same goal would provide the same information, as for all intents and purposes, the technology level available to the Solar has yet to improve, despite his visions.
The Storyteller is encouraged to be generous with the use of this charm, as it provides a simpler means of representing the technological advancement possible when a character can trivially roll 20+ craft successes each day for a month, without requiring nearly as much die rolling or mechanics. Better to allow things like the invention of the steam-car, electric light, and antibiotics, than to watch as your Solar craftsman works out the die rolls required to invent a Nuclear-like artifact weapon. The prerequisites for this charm are also considered a valid prerequisite for the charm "Craftsman Needs No Tools".
Experienced Craftsman's Epiphany
Cost: None Type: Permanent Duration: Permanent Min. Craft: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Craftsman Needs No Tools
A simple example of a Solar's ability to triumph over all odds, even when it would make little sense, the craftsman may now attempt to ignore any negative impact on his work, reducing the difficulty of any and all craft rolls by 2, regardless of what creates such difficulty.
Acheivement of the Anticipated Implementation
Cost: 10m, 1WP Type: Supplemental Duration: Instant Min. Craft: 5 Min. Essence: 4 Prereqs: Wellspring of Future Knowledge, Craftsman Needs No Tools
Perfection. A simple word, and one that has come up many times in the writings of Solar's natural tendencies. Still, defining what exactly perfection means can be a difficult thing. In the case of opposition, it is a simple thing - the Solar will triumph, without fail. Only another Solar has a chance of defending against a perfect attack. In the case of non-opposed actions however, perfection becomes a more ill-defined thing. In the case of crafting, for example, what is perfection? Is it the ability to create anything, without fail? Of course not. If that were the case, a copper spider could easily create "a Yozi", or "Yu-Shan", for example. A single application of the perfected flows of Solar Essence, and, without regards to condition or die roll, and the result would be created. Obviously, such a thing is unreasonable, even for the Princes of Creation themselves. Early research into these ambiguities focused on what types of perfection were found among craftsman, such as this charm. By focusing on exactly what their desired goal is, and channeling essence throughout the creation process, the Solar ensures that he will acheive his desired result, regardless of outside factors. Unlike other forms of perfection, where an arrow might barely hit, even though it had to dart through a cloud of 10,000 shields, the perfection resulting from this charm is a more pronounced form, where the craftsman's best work is expressed without fail. He need not worry about a 'bad day', being interrupted, or any other negative effect. In particular, experiments involving interference by other Solars, such as skilled bureaucrats, seductive dancers, and superlative theives, show that this result will always be acheived, even if a perfect effect is employed to hinder or distract the craftsman, or even remove his tools. As such, some would claim that this is a perfect effect. There are, of course, detractors, who note that a sufficiently large number of mundane arrows, from mundane archers, did seem to hinder the work of one volunteering craftsman, as his incapacitation demonstrated. As such, this charm has in no way ended the arguments over perfection, and is merely another page in the book.
Regardless of difficulty or other die or success reducing effects, unless the Solar is incapacitated, he will automatically acheive a number of successes on the supplemented Craft roll equal to the relevant Attribute+Craft score, unless the normal result would be better.
Yeah, I figured that for the heck of it, I'd make around 10 new charms for some of the under-loved abilities, such as Craft, Bureaucracy, and Lore. Do you hear me? Lore. That's my next target. Still, comments on these are encouraged and appreciated, as my goal is to construct full, complete, and useful trees that can be wholeheartedly used by other players and ST's. -- GregLink
I like these a lot. One question - what does "speed up the rate of construction for any project he is working directly on by (Essence)" mean? That you work essence times faster? I was confused. - TheHoverpope
- Precisely that. I encourage you to alter the text in such a fashion that it makes sense to all, as I hate ambiguity in charms. The thing to watch, though, is that it should apply to dang near a lot of things, such as artifact construction, building a bridge (by himself), but not leading a crew of 1000 to build a manse. I've added a sentence above to clear things up (hopefully) but encourage you to edit it yourself if you've got something better. - GregLink
- Desperate Researcher's Techniques: This charm is redundant with Craftsman Needs No Tools. Admittedly, it has different visuals, but CNNT's visuals are more Solar in feel anyway. This seems more like a Lunar or DB charm, the way it relies on finding something in the environment.
- Creator's Inherent Advantage: "...but need not be activated with every action taken." That's a very powerful ability you just snuck in there. I don't think it's justified by anything. I see why this goes in combos with charms of other Abilities, but why give it that other special advantage in combos?
- Apprentice-to-Journeyman Modification, Birthing the Spider Legion: If it's a training regimen for people, it doesn't belong under Craft. Though it might belong here if you were to make it simply a magic potion... but that doesn't seem appropriate. If you don't want to put it under Presence where it really belongs, you could make it a course of education of sorts and put it under Lore. Craft, though, shouldn't change other living people.
- Achievement of the Anticipated Implementation: Please add something at the end stating the mechanical effects clearly. While I love the story you've put with this charm, the rules are currently buried in it, making interpretation more difficult. It'd be nice to have another paragraph where you say, "Unless he is incapacitated, the craftsman finishes his project as if he had (Attribute + Craft) successes above and beyond the difficulty, unless his die roll is better than that." Or something.
- Anything I didn't specifically comment on is good. Also, don't be lazy, give us a name for your Craft die-adder. Even though ExaltedSecond will come in and make it "First Craft Excellence"... - IanPrice
- Regarding your comments on Apprentice-to-Journeyman Modification and Birthing the Spider Legion- I agree that training should fall under the purview of an ability other than craft. That being said, there's no reason these charms can't exist here if the implementation is altered slightly. If, for example, the enhanced abilities granted by this charm are a result of the Exalt actually employing his crafting skill and temporarily/permanently re-building people, then I feel it would be acceptable. Charms like Body Forging Travail set a precedent for improving living flesh. The alternative is change the charms so that you basically build assistants from objects. Using Journeyman as an example, you modify your forge so that it functions as a craft x, lore x, occult x, Terrestrial for the purposes of having an assisstant help you build. Think the Sorcerer's Apprentice, from Disney's Fantasia, when Mickey animates the broom into an assisstant to do his chores for him (though hopefully with less disasterous results). For Spider Legion, it could be that you spend a few weeks crafting tiny copper spiders that can scuttle around and help with projects. The end result is the same, but it has more of a craft feel to it. -Ambisinister
Aaahh.. The joy and glory of quality comments. As befits my oft-arrogant attitude, I respond by charm:
- Desperate Researcher's Techniques: I partially agree that it's redundant. However, CNNT is quite high up in the current tree, and getting to it is a nightmare, being forced through things like Shattering Grasp and Object-Strengthening touch that aren't necessarily really that great, and feel very speedbumpy to me. One of the purposes of DRT was to provide a more linear path to CNNT, much as DSD leads to GEB, leads to Bulwark Stance, et cetera. They're all very similar, and thus provide a reasonable 'upward' path of power. As for the feel, I'd disagree entirely. To me, a Lunar would make tools out of himself. (As a Sidereal bends the situation to themself, so does the Lunar fit themself to the situation.) A Solar, on the other hand, just tromps over things, and through things. To me, it's very Solar (and very MacGuyver) to exploit your awesome knowledge of stuff to make something go that shouldn't. The charm tries to leave things open, so essentially you've only got to one-die stunt the action, rather than simply wave your hands. More to the point, to me, CNNT isn't very Solar. It's a bit too sorcery-like for my taste, as you're just plain bending and shaping material with your hands. That's not what superlative craftsmen do, that's what Gods do. Superlative craftsmen will make something work, tying the auxiliary power systems into the shield grid, then reversing the polarity to emit a graviton cascade, thus disrupting the local anomaly. They don't just wave their hands and make it go poof. So my claim then, and response, is that the charm is intended to resemble CNNT in many ways, as a prereq, and that I disagree with your theory that it's not very Solar. I happy welcome rebuttals, of course.
- Creator's Inherent Advantage - Yeah, it's kind of powerful, but at the same time, it accidentally snuck in there with a possible issue that came up in my head. The problem is that it's not necessarily possible to activate this on every extra action. In particular, it only works with things you've made. What if you're duel-wielding, one thing you made, and one you didn't? You can't physically activate the combo then, as you can't meet the requirement. Perhaps instead it could say "Must be activated if the charm could possibly apply" instead?
- A-to-J Mod and Birthing the Legion - I can see your point. I knew this was going to be an issue, which is one of the reasons I wanted some feedback. To be honest, I see where you're coming from, and this was one of the things I was trying to see if I could sneak by. I guess I'll put it in Lore then, as an educational system seems like a fun way to do it. At the same time, what about the first-tier version of these, where the Master assists his subordinates with their work, removing flaws? Is that still workable?
- AtAI - Changed some wording. The way it was changed weakens the flavor text a bit, but it is much more clear now, at least.
- See TheMyriadOfShades/CharmTheory for examples of the Solar vs. Lunar "style" issue I brought up. Anyway, CNNT is canon, from the base book, and therefore helps establish the feel of Solars. If you want to argue with it, well, then that's your house rules. If you want to make your charms useful to everyone, they've gotta work with the canon ones. DRT doesn't. Nor does it make a less-speedbumpy prerequisite, because it's basically a slightly-less-powerful version of CNNT. Doing exactly the same thing, but slightly more, isn't the best way to progress in charm trees. I prefer the canon Craft tree, because you learn to both strengthen and break objects with a mere touch, which then builds to shaping them with your touch.
- It's insanely powerful. It gets around, as you just pointed out, the one limitation that charm normally has. Already it can function as a die adder for any combat ability at all, and with that little phrase, it can do it in a lot more situations than the seemingly limited nature implies. I recommend either taking that phrase out entirely, and living with the implications of that, or making it an Essence 4 charm that doesn't have the limitation at all - you understand the way things are constructed so well that you can channel your Essence through anything to get dice bonuses.
- The master-assists-subordinates thing is fine, as it's directly related to the work of crafting. And remember, as Ambisinister said: if you make the process focus more on physical building (or re-building) of these servants, you could keep these here.
- - IanPrice
A quickie: In regards to the "insanely powerful" die adder charm, you mention that I should take out that one phrase entirely. Did you read the one I suggested (which is that it must be used if it could apply)? I'm thinking that one gets rid of the insanely powerful aspect part, without opening up the rules issue I mentioned about what happens if you swtich weapons mid-stream, or have multi-actions that it wouldn't necessarily apply to? (For example, you've got a great lock-picking combo, but you happened to lose your lock picks. Should the combo be invalidated just because you need you need your lock picks? I'm saying no, you just can't get as much mojo rolling with it.) -- GregLink
I'm saying that Combos, while powerful, are even narrower than Charms. It is my opinion, which you are free to disagree with as always, that switching to a weapon you didn't craft mid-stream is equivalent, in regards to this charm, to switching from a Melee to a Martial Arts attack. In the middle of an Extra Action charm, you just can't do it. Although you could normally, say, make some of your MA attacks with Striking Serpent Speed with a Hook Sword and some with your hand or feet, in this case, I'm mean: Combos are narrow, and that Combo happens to be predicated in part on using a weapon you built. You couldn't exactly use a Combo including Heavenly Guardian Defense if you happened to be deprived of a melee weapon at the moment, could you? (leaving out the ease of finding an improvised weapon in most circumstances; I could equally argue that someone who'd have this charm could always make sure to have something he crafted on him, or take an action to make it so even in combat with a decent stunt - Creativity = stunting = explicitly allowed to break the rules)
In the middle of split actions, your phrase there wouldn't matter, because supplemental activations (even in Combos) are optional with split actions (and independent actions, for that matter). So, in the middle of the situation where you could voluntarily switch around your equipment, you could do what you want to anyway. - IanPrice, being a big fat ol' meanie.
Oh Ian, you poor man. You didn't notice that I'd already changed the above text, did you? I'd already changed the charm to reflect this issue. The earlier question I'd asked was just about your comment, as you weren't clear. I still agree with your theory on how the combo works, however, so yeah, it's been changed. -- GregLink
- Heh... I actually noticed right after I posted. Decided to let my rant stand to see if you agreed or not. Behold! You do, and I feel slightly less stupid for not noticing that before I ranted. - IanPrice